“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
- Theodore Roosevelt
You can’t teach competitiveness. However, if you’re talking about simple economics (scarcity,) the average uncompetitive person can become a fierce competitor. But bargain hunting can become a fool’s errand when cost is the overriding (or only) factor driving a decision.
Consider Black Friday, which is just around the corner. I contend that it’s a scam and some people tend to agree with me. If you’re looking for cheap, Black Friday deals can be your friend if you don’t care about quality. Rarely do retailers make ‘better’ products available at crazy-low prices. The offering is usually a product that only appears to be top quality…but is of lesser value.
Why? Because they can’t sell top quality, high value product at prices low enough to get your attention. And attention is what the retailers want. They desire to have as many warm bodies as possible with immense credit limits in formation at their front door on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Bad deals exist everywhere in nature. We’ve seen prospects make short-sighted decisions. They're promised a product or service that will inevitably yield sub-par results. Comparing Keystone's quality solutions to some of the garbage solutions out there is like comparing Apples to Orangutans. But because buyers can be more concerned with the dollars than the value, a bad decision is made without hesitation.
How can you avoid making this decision? Have a conversation. Talk to your prospective vendor’s existing clients. What is it like doing business with the vendor? What is their level of responsiveness when things get tough. Anybody can be attentive when they’re selling. How does the relationship go when the work starts to happen, tough decisions get made, and expertise is revealed…or ineptitude is revealed or service falls flat.
If you’re only concerned with cost and you’re ok with a sub-par product, let the ticket price be your guide. But if you’re looking for a long-term partner to guide you through the tough problems that inevitably occur in managing a company’s IT infrastructure and marketing effort, look beyond the price. Look at the company’s character, culture, and performance record. You won’t be disappointed.